Might as well start talking about 2021

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,707
Twin Cities
Last edited:

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
17,710
Rogers Park
I love these kinds of quotes. So, you’re saying if you could get Bauer to sign here on a 1 yr/$15M deal, and Ozuna for 3 yrs/$30M, and you could trade Beni and change for Luis Castillo, you could exceed the LT? Great! Good to know.

Nothing about this offseason suggests that we’re going over the threshold. And given where we’re at and MLB is at, we shouldn’t.
It really may have been as simple as the FO deciding that, if the market really cratered, as it looked like it might when Brad Hand was released, they would be opportunistic and collect a bunch of great values on players via FA and trade that would help us in years to come, wherever the payroll landed. And that would have been smart!

But that's not really how the market shook out: Hand ended up signing with the Nationals for a bit more than they would have paid him if they'd claimed him off waivers.

So as it is, it's likely better to be under so we can go over for a year or two here or there without trashing our draft order.
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,707
Twin Cities
It really may have been as simple as the FO deciding that, if the market really cratered, as it looked like it might when Brad Hand was released, they would be opportunistic and collect a bunch of great values on players via FA and trade that would help us in years to come, wherever the payroll landed. And that would have been smart!

But that's not really how the market shook out: Hand ended up signing with the Nationals for a bit more than they would have paid him if they'd claimed him off waivers.

So as it is, it's likely better to be under so we can go over for a year or two here or there without trashing our draft order.
Yeah, I agree. To be less glib about it, I realize there are still scenarios where the team would be willing to go over the LT limit, either now or mid-season if we’re competing and need a key piece. I think that’s what Bloom means when he says there's no firm ceiling or mandate. But he HAS taken a distinctly different approach than DD did, looking for shorter terms and financial flexibility in every move he’s made. They clearly are putting a high value on having financial (and roster) options, which makes sense given the uncertainties of this season and of the upcoming CBS negotiations.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
13,586
Maine
Yeah, I agree. To be less glib about it, I realize there are still scenarios where the team would be willing to go over the LT limit, either now or mid-season if we’re competing and need a key piece. I think that’s what Bloom means when he says there's no firm ceiling or mandate. But he HAS taken a distinctly different approach than DD did, looking for shorter terms and financial flexibility in every move he’s made. They clearly are putting a high value on having financial (and roster) options, which makes sense given the uncertainties of this season and of the upcoming CBS negotiations.
I imagine part of his approach is dictated by the aftermath of Dombrowski's approach. If he can get through the next year or two without making too many long commitments, it will give him maximum flexibility once the prospects he's collecting (via draft and trade) start to come to fruition. It's not really that far off from what Ben Cherington did. He was greatly aided by the Punto deal to clear the financial decks, but he was bridging with short term veteran deals that weren't flashy to get to the next generation of prospects with the financial flexibility to surround them with talent. That ultimately resulted in the 2018 championship. Bloom might not get as lucky as Cherington did with the 2013 team but hopefully he also doesn't experience the flip side of that experience, the 2014-2015 shitshows.
 

Dewey'sCannon

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
735
Maryland
It really may have been as simple as the FO deciding that, if the market really cratered, as it looked like it might when Brad Hand was released, they would be opportunistic and collect a bunch of great values on players via FA and trade that would help us in years to come, wherever the payroll landed. And that would have been smart!

But that's not really how the market shook out: Hand ended up signing with the Nationals for a bit more than they would have paid him if they'd claimed him off waivers.

So as it is, it's likely better to be under so we can go over for a year or two here or there without trashing our draft order.
I agree with this, in that there approach going into the offseason was governed by the likelihood that they would not have a championship caliber team in '21 given the number of question marks on the roster (Eduardo, Sale, JD, Beni, Dalbec, 2B, CF, etc), and that they would therefore only exceed the CBT/$210m if the market somehow collapsed, at least for certain players, and they were able to grab players at a discount that might significantly improve their competitiveness in '21 and the future, without constraining their future flexibility.

But one reason I think it's not imperative that they stay under this year is that we really don't know what the system will look like under a new CBA. The CBT might continue with only minimal changes (like we saw under the current CBA), or there may significant structural changes to its. The MLBPA will certainly want to see the CBT systen significantly changed, or eliminated, as it certainly puts a drag on the FA market. Are the owners committed to keeping it? It would seem like the big-market teams would probably just as soon be rid of it - at the least, they'd probably endorse elimination of the loss of draft picks. And its really not doing what it was purportedly designed to do, in terms of helping to distribute talent to small-market teams. From my standpoint (as someone who does labor negotiations for a living), I think it's in both parties interests to significant rework the system. I doubt the parties would agree to a hard salary cap or floor, but I could see a system where there are modifications of the incentives (penalties) for spending at the high end but also some new incentives for spending at the low end (or some penalties for failure to spend if that results in continued non-competitiveness).
 

cantor44

lurker
Dec 23, 2020
2
I imagine part of his approach is dictated by the aftermath of Dombrowski's approach. If he can get through the next year or two without making too many long commitments, it will give him maximum flexibility once the prospects he's collecting (via draft and trade) start to come to fruition. It's not really that far off from what Ben Cherington did. He was greatly aided by the Punto deal to clear the financial decks, but he was bridging with short term veteran deals that weren't flashy to get to the next generation of prospects with the financial flexibility to surround them with talent. That ultimately resulted in the 2018 championship. Bloom might not get as lucky as Cherington did with the 2013 team but hopefully he also doesn't experience the flip side of that experience, the 2014-2015 shitshows.
The only issue with this plan is the current set of prospects are not nearly at the stratospheric level of the prospects coming up under Cherington.
 

amRadio

lurker
Feb 7, 2019
480
In 2012-2013, nobody would have described the ascension of the Red Sox farm system as "stratospheric" or anything like that. I remember when people thought it would be a decade before contention was realistic. Assuming Sale comes back restored, Devers keeps on his upward trajectory and Xander sticks around, the core of the team is still of high quality. I'm not impressed with this offseason, but I still have faith in Bloom at the end of the day.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
2,878
By 2014 the Sox had plenty of prospects rated in the top 100 from BA.
X being the only one in the top 20. Henry Owens (flop), JBJ, Allen Webster (flop), Cecchini (flop), Swihart (flop), Mookie Betts, Matt Barnes, Trey Ball (flop) also in there.
Ed Rod was in there too (with Baltimore). I wouldn't say stratospheric by any means... but solid. And considering the amount of success to flop ratio, with one average (Barnes) it produced what I would consider a successful prospect-to-MLB crop.
Other than a few top prospects I don't put too much stock in the strength of having a strong farm rating. It doesn't hurt, as if the prospects were handled really brilliantly... at the time it's possible that spinning Webster, Owens, Cecchini, Ball and Swihart could have produced some good trades. But... hindsight. Half of SoSH would have lost their collective minds if those guys were dealt.
I like what Bloom is doing and think we'll see some very solid contributions from his pickups and think this team will surprise. I'm willing to bet that we'll get better production out of Kiké than Toronto gets from Springer.
  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS, BOS
  2. Oscar Taveras, OF, STL
  3. Miguel Sanó, 3B, MIN
  4. Archie Bradley, RHP, ARI
  5. Taijuan Walker, RHP, SEA
  6. Javier Báez, SS, CHC
  7. Carlos Correa, SS, HOU
  8. Kris Bryant, 3B, CHC
  9. Francisco Lindor, SS, CLE
  10. Noah Syndergaard, RHP, NYM
  11. Addison Russell, SS, OAK
  12. Gregory Polanco, OF, PIT
  13. Jon Gray, RHP, COL
  14. Nicholas Castellanos, 3B/OF, DET
  15. Jameson Taillon, RHP, PIT
  16. Mark Appel, RHP, HOU
  17. Albert Almora Jr., OF, CHC
  18. Robert Stephenson, RHP, CIN
  19. Dylan Bundy, RHP, BAL
  20. George Springer, OF, HOU
  21. Travis d'Arnaud, C, NYM
  22. Aaron Sanchez, RHP, TOR
  23. Austin Hedges, C, SD
  24. Kyle Zimmer, RHP, KC
  25. Maikel Franco, 3B, PHI
  26. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, PIT
  27. Alex Meyer, RHP, MIN
  28. Andrew Heaney, LHP, MIA
  29. Henry Owens, LHP, BOS
  30. Kevin Gausman, RHP, BAL
  31. Kyle Crick, RHP, SF
  32. Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, BOS
  33. Corey Seager, SS, LAD
  34. Yordano Ventura, RHP, KC
  35. Joc Pederson, OF, LAD
  36. Billy Hamilton, OF, CIN
  37. Raul Adalberto Mondesi, SS, KC
  38. Jorge Alfaro, C, TEX
  39. Kohl Stewart, RHP, MIN
  40. Eddie Butler, RHP, COL
  41. Carl Edwards Jr., RHP, CHC
  42. Max Fried, LHP, SD
  43. Lucas Giolito, RHP, WAS
  44. Austin Meadows, OF, PIT
  45. Allen Webster, RHP, BOS
  46. Gary Sánchez, C, NYY
  47. Clint Frazier, OF, CLE
  48. Jorge Soler, OF, CHC
  49. Jon Singleton, 1B, HOU
  50. Colin Moran, 3B, MIA
  51. Lance McCullers Jr., RHP, HOU
  52. Jesse Biddle, LHP, PHI
  53. Mike Foltynewicz, RHP, HOU
  54. Marcus Stroman, RHP, TOR
  55. Jake Odorizzi, RHP, TB
  56. Garin Cecchini, 3B, BOS
  57. Kolten Wong, 2B, STL
  58. Rougned Odor, 2B, TEX
  59. Lucas Sims, RHP, ATL
  60. Blake Swihart, C, BOS
  61. Mookie Betts, 2B, BOS
  62. Zach Lee, RHP, LAD
  63. Julio Urías, LHP, LAD
  64. Jake Marisnick, OF, MIA
  65. Delino DeShields Jr., OF, HOU
  66. Alen Hanson, SS, PIT
  67. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, BAL
  68. A.J. Cole, RHP, WAS
  69. Erik Johnson, RHP, CWS
  70. David Dahl, OF, COL
  71. Michael Choice, OF, TEX
  72. Trevor Bauer, RHP, CLE
  73. Josh Bell, OF, PIT
  74. Mason Williams, OF, NYY
  75. Luis Sardiñas, SS, TEX
  76. Chris Owings, SS, ARI
  77. Matt Wisler, RHP, SD
  78. Braden Shipley, RHP, ARI
  79. Matt Davidson, 3B, CWS
  80. Justin Nicolino, LHP, MIA
  81. Christian Bethancourt, C, ATL
  82. Jimmy Nelson, RHP, MIL
  83. Hak-Ju Lee, SS, TB
  84. Rafael Montero, RHP, NYM
  85. Matt Barnes, RHP, BOS
  86. Casey Kelly, RHP, SD
  87. D.J. Peterson, 3B, SEA
  88. Arismendy Alcantara, SS/2B, CHC
  89. José Berríos, RHP, MIN
  90. Jorge Bonifacio, OF, KC
  91. Joey Gallo, 3B, TEX
  92. Roberto Osuna, RHP, TOR
  93. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, TB
  94. Edwin Escobar, LHP, SF
  95. Trey Ball, LHP, BOS
  96. Robbie Ray, LHP, DET
  97. Stephen Piscotty, OF, STL
  98. Rosell Herrera, SS, COL
  99. Pierce Johnson, RHP, CHC
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,076

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
17,710
Rogers Park
In 2012-2013, nobody would have described the ascension of the Red Sox farm system as "stratospheric" or anything like that. I remember when people thought it would be a decade before contention was realistic. Assuming Sale comes back restored, Devers keeps on his upward trajectory and Xander sticks around, the core of the team is still of high quality. I'm not impressed with this offseason, but I still have faith in Bloom at the end of the day.
It wasn't until early 2014 that the farm started being ranked by the prospect press as a (or even the) top system in baseball, but BA already had them ranked 9 in 2012 ("The most impressive Red Sox prospects are position players who haven't yet proven themselves at higher levels: 3B Will Middlebrooks, SS Xander Bogaerts and C Blake Swihart."), up from 17 on the basis of the strong 2011 draft.

But the farm had a huge 2012, and advanced to 6 on the strength of strong seasons from Bogaerts (.896 OPS in high-A and AA; went from #58 to #8 on BA's top-100), Bradley (.911 OPS in high-A and AA; went from outside the top 100 to #31) and Henry Owens (11.5 K/9 in A; landed himself at #91).

And then 2013 was when the prospect press noticed Mookie Betts, even if 2014 was to be the year of the Mookie Meter: so our 2014 farm ranking at Baseball America was up to #2 (behind the Pirates), and better in some lists. It held in the top five through 2016, and then collapsed as we promoted Benintendi and traded everybody else, leaving Devers the lone high-ceilinged prospect.

But here's the timeline: 17 (2011), 9 (2012), 6 (2013), 2 (2014), 5 (2015), 4 (2016), 14 (2017). I guess it depends what you consider "stratospheric," but that was a pretty quick rise, especially when you consider that we didn't get much of value prospect-wise in the tear-down of the club (we got Eduardo Rodriguez, who spent a few months on the farm, and Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly, who were no longer prospects).
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
7,308
Verdugo and Devers aren't far from being prospects and probably have higher floors than any of the cherington prospects had coming up. This team has plenty of top end talent, it just also has a lot of question marks, mostly in the rotation.
 

billy ashley

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
1,003
Washington DC
Verdugo and Devers aren't far from being prospects and probably have higher floors than any of the cherington prospects had coming up. This team has plenty of top end talent, it just also has a lot of question marks, mostly in the rotation.

This is where I think the Sox may be sneaky good this year. It's in terribly unlikely that pitcher workloads will not be impacted by the pandemic. Right now, Boston lacks a lot of high upside, healthy arms in the rotation, but there is a really nice collection of depth guys. Bloom deserves credit for really bolstering the margins of the roster.

*Defining upside as a chance to pitch like a 3/4 rather than 4/5

The following folks make up 3 spots on the rotation. I think it's not unreasonable that many see significant action due to the whole pandemic. I don't know how many teams can compete with the following back end / depth

3.Richards (some upside)
4. Perez
5. Pivetta (some upside)


Depth Houck (some upside)
Depth Whitlock
Depth Andriese
Depth Seabold (some upside)
Depth *Mata (would prefer him not be used in this role, true prospect)
Depth Hart

Last season, Hart was way up on that list and terrible (there was no reason to expect him not to be). Now he'd be the 7th or 8th emergency option depending on what they feel about Mazza and Gossett. There's also the potential return of Sale. Some folks would like to see Hernandez included here, but his command has never really warranted it.
 

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
67,816
Oregon
I love Mitch but I don't see the point of pushing Dalbec to a short-side platoon. If Dalbec's on the team then we should see what he can do.
This is where I am. It's too soon to declare Dalbec a platoon guy. It's not as though the single-digit number of wins Moreland might add to next season are going to make them a playoff team.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,445
Boston is very close to having a top 10 offense in baseball. Defense is generally ok. It's the pitching that's the problem. You look at the absolute DRECK they put out there last year, and it was basically the ultimate worst-case scenario. Their best two pitchers were gone (Sale/ERod). Almost everyone in the bullpen was worse than their career norms. They had random guys starting games that you've never heard of (nor should you have).

I'm not a huge fan of this current pitching staff, but I think it has the potential to be MUCH better than last year's edition. Consequently, I think that there's a really good chance this team is significantly better than last year. Playoff-bound? Maybe, but not likely. Still...I am hopeful that they're much improved with a good haul of guys with real potential making their way through the system.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
5,344
New York City
I'm not a huge fan of this current pitching staff, but I think it has the potential to be MUCH better than last year's edition. Consequently, I think that there's a really good chance this team is significantly better than last year. Playoff-bound? Maybe, but not likely. Still...I am hopeful that they're much improved with a good haul of guys with real potential making their way through the system.
Key word there is "potential." My glass-half-empty worry is that every single pitcher who could plausibly be in their rotation either (a) faces significant injury concerns or (b) is an upside play with mixed results in the past. If the Sox have above-average luck and the top part of their rotation stays healthy and the bottom half has a couple guys that overperform prior years - sure, they could be decent to even good. But if you just assume even average luck (e.g. one of Sale/EdRo/Eo gets hurt again, and their collection of 4/5 guys all pitch like 4/5 guys), we are still looking at frankly a very bad rotation, albeit with more talent than last year's.

None of which is really a criticism of Bloom - the rotation was so bad last year that is not the kind of thing you turn around in a single offseason.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,445
Oh yeah, for sure they could be bad this year. But it would take almost NOTHING for them to be better than last year. #28 in MLB in ERA (5.58, just 0.05 away from dead last). #30 in MLB in WHIP (1.60...dead last).

I mean, last year, their #1 was Martin Perez - a guy we all agree is a decent number *5*. Their #3, 4, and 5 starters were Zach Godley (8.16 era, 1.95 whip), Chris Mazza (4.80 era, 1.63 whip), and Ryan Weber (4.40 era, 1.35 whip).

Second half of 2021, their rotation should be Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Richards, and Martin Perez. That's WORLDS better than what they had last year.
 

Dewey'sCannon

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
735
Maryland
This is where I am. It's too soon to declare Dalbec a platoon guy. It's not as though the single-digit number of wins Moreland might add to next season are going to make them a playoff team.
If they bring back Mitchy, then I don't think it would be with the idea that he would be the strong side of the platoon. I think it would be as insurance in case Dalbec simply craters and becomes a black hole in the lineup. The plan would probably to have him play once or twice a week, with some occasional pinch-hitting. They would probably give Dalbec every chance to win and hold the job, but I'm sure they'd like to have a Plan B (or at least a different one than the current one, which is probably Chavis).
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,076
Oh yeah, for sure they could be bad this year. But it would take almost NOTHING for them to be better than last year. #28 in MLB in ERA (5.58, just 0.05 away from dead last). #30 in MLB in WHIP (1.60...dead last).

I mean, last year, their #1 was Martin Perez - a guy we all agree is a decent number *5*. Their #3, 4, and 5 starters were Zach Godley (8.16 era, 1.95 whip), Chris Mazza (4.80 era, 1.63 whip), and Ryan Weber (4.40 era, 1.35 whip).

Second half of 2021, their rotation should be Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Richards, and Martin Perez. That's WORLDS better than what they had last year.
Agree with all this, but I think Richards' signing heralds a 6-man rotation in the second half -- if everything breaks right and everyone's healthy. Definitely a chance Pivetta flames out, but he's got no options left and there's enough of a track record to give him a chance to figure it out.

If we're fully out of it by July, I could see scenarios where any of those five non-Sale starters are flipped at the deadline. If we're in the race, I'm sure all of those guys could use the extra rest a 6-man rotation (plus spot starts from Andriese) affords.
 

Niastri

Member
SoSH Member
Key word there is "potential." My glass-half-empty worry is that every single pitcher who could plausibly be in their rotation either (a) faces significant injury concerns or (b) is an upside play with mixed results in the past. If the Sox have above-average luck and the top part of their rotation stays healthy and the bottom half has a couple guys that overperform prior years - sure, they could be decent to even good. But if you just assume even average luck (e.g. one of Sale/EdRo/Eo gets hurt again, and their collection of 4/5 guys all pitch like 4/5 guys), we are still looking at frankly a very bad rotation, albeit with more talent than last year's.

None of which is really a criticism of Bloom - the rotation was so bad last year that is not the kind of thing you turn around in a single offseason.
But you could also see the other side...

Sale, Rodriguez and Eovaldi all come back healthy and rested, pitching to career norms.
Pivetta and Richards stay healthy and show why their raw stuff is so respected by the statcast systems (when if their results aren't). They pitch like legitimate 3s. Suddenly, our staff at the end of the year looks like:

1.5, 2,2,3,3 instead of 4,4,5,5,tbd like last year.

More importantly, all these guys who could be starters on a bad team are now riding the shuttle or pitching out of the bullpen, where their stuff plays up and Cora can really manipulate matchups and limit innings for the starters.

It's a super glass half full image, but it doesn't seem insane.

As an aside, Pivetta and Richards both have breaking stuff that might play better with a good framer like Vasquez...
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
5,344
New York City
But you could also see the other side...

Sale, Rodriguez and Eovaldi all come back healthy and rested, pitching to career norms.
Pivetta and Richards stay healthy and show why their raw stuff is so respected by the statcast systems (when if their results aren't). They pitch like legitimate 3s. Suddenly, our staff at the end of the year looks like:

1.5, 2,2,3,3 instead of 4,4,5,5,tbd like last year.

More importantly, all these guys who could be starters on a bad team are now riding the shuttle or pitching out of the bullpen, where their stuff plays up and Cora can really manipulate matchups and limit innings for the starters.

It's a super glass half full image, but it doesn't seem insane.

As an aside, Pivetta and Richards both have breaking stuff that might play better with a good framer like Vasquez...
Sure - I certainly agree with Bloom's overall approach of amassing a bunch of guys where, if you squint, you can see how they might outperform their career numbers. The obvious hope is that they hit on one or two of those guys, and the rest are entirely disposable as they are on short-term contracts.
 

chrisfont9

Member
SoSH Member
Sure - I certainly agree with Bloom's overall approach of amassing a bunch of guys where, if you squint, you can see how they might outperform their career numbers. The obvious hope is that they hit on one or two of those guys, and the rest are entirely disposable as they are on short-term contracts.
If this is the approach (which I suspect it is), then bringing back Moreland makes no sense. If you are willing to lose some games while figuring out whether any of these pitchers have value, you would logically take the same approach to Dalbec.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
7,308
Sure - I certainly agree with Bloom's overall approach of amassing a bunch of guys where, if you squint, you can see how they might outperform their career numbers. The obvious hope is that they hit on one or two of those guys, and the rest are entirely disposable as they are on short-term contracts.
They don't need to outperform anything, if the staff pitches to career averages and sale comes back healthy midseason this team has a great shot at making the playoffs, which is why fangraphs currently has them as the 2nd wild card in its projections.
 

Oppo

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 5, 2009
1,575
Orlando
If this is the approach (which I suspect it is), then bringing back Moreland makes no sense. If you are willing to lose some games while figuring out whether any of these pitchers have value, you would logically take the same approach to Dalbec.
Your point is certainly valid.
The counter would be Moreland’s clubhouse/leadership value to young guys like Dalbec.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
5,344
New York City
They don't need to outperform anything, if the staff pitches to career averages and sale comes back healthy midseason this team has a great shot at making the playoffs, which is why fangraphs currently has them as the 2nd wild card in its projections.
And if Eovaldi and Rodriguez both stay healthy as well. That's kind of my point - if their top-3 stay healthy and effective all year, yeah, they'll probably have an average or so rotation. But if even one of those guys misses significant time the rotation immediately becomes a lot worse assuming none of their remaining pitchers overperforms. And maybe I am just unduly pessimistic but given all three of them have significant injury histories (well, in EdRo's case it's less about past injuries and more just uncertainty about recovering from his heart condition), I would not at all be surprised if at least one of them misses significant time (above and beyond the time Sale is already projected to miss).
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
7,308
And if Eovaldi and Rodriguez both stay healthy as well. That's kind of my point - if their top-3 stay healthy and effective all year, yeah, they'll probably have an average or so rotation. But if even one of those guys misses significant time the rotation immediately becomes a lot worse assuming none of their remaining pitchers overperforms. And maybe I am just unduly pessimistic but given all three of them have significant injury histories (well, in EdRo's case it's less about past injuries and more just uncertainty about recovering from his heart condition), I would not at all be surprised if at least one of them misses significant time (above and beyond the time Sale is already projected to miss).
If they all stay healthy I think you're vastly discounting the rotation by calling it average or so. Just by pitching to projections Sale is a clear ace, Erod is a borderline 1/2, Eovaldi is a 2/3, Richards is a 3/4 and Perez is probably a 4, and that's without even giving them anything from any of houck pivetta seabold etc
 

Minneapolis Millers

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,707
Twin Cities
If E-Rod and Eovaldi stay healthy, and Sale comes back by June and is healthy, and they pitch to career norms, the rotation is going to be good, not just average. The 4 and 5 spots and spot starters would all have to get hurt or suck for the rotation to be just average. But as others said, the IF is still significant here...

As for 1B, I like Moreland, but I think a guy like Miller would be a much better fit. He can spell Dalbec at first but not need to platoon with him to get PT, because he can also back up short, fill in as much as needed at 2B, play 3rd or OF.... Much more versatile.
 

OurF'ingCity

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 22, 2016
5,344
New York City
If they all stay healthy I think you're vastly discounting the rotation by calling it average or so. Just by pitching to projections Sale is a clear ace, Erod is a borderline 1/2, Eovaldi is a 2/3, Richards is a 3/4 and Perez is probably a 4, and that's without even giving them anything from any of houck pivetta seabold etc
Well, take them for what they're worth, but FanGraph's current "depth chart" projections give the Boston pitching staff (bullpen included) an ERA of 4.49 for the year (4.57 for just the projected starters). If the Sox had pitched to that level last year, that would have put them in 16th place - almost exactly average. (And in 2019 that would be good enough for 17th place, in 2018 only good enough for 21st, in 2017 15th, etc.)

To be clear, an "average" rotation this year would not only be a massive improvement on last year but would also likely be enough to at least put them in playoff contention given the anticipated strength of the offense.
 

scottyno

Member
SoSH Member
Dec 7, 2008
7,308
Well, take them for what they're worth, but FanGraph's current "depth chart" projections give the Boston pitching staff (bullpen included) an ERA of 4.49 for the year (4.57 for just the projected starters). If the Sox had pitched to that level last year, that would have put them in 16th place - almost exactly average. (And in 2019 that would be good enough for 17th place, in 2018 only good enough for 21st, in 2017 15th, etc.)

To be clear, an "average" rotation this year would not only be a massive improvement on last year but would also likely be enough to at least put them in playoff contention given the anticipated strength of the offense.
Because they pitch both in the AL and play half their games in a ballpark with a high park factor in favor of offense.

Without even factoring in fenway, just looking at the AL they are projected 6th out of 15 in runs allowed, if you factor in parks they'd jump to 4th out of 15.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

Member
SoSH Member
Mar 11, 2007
2,878
I can't seem to find the link now but earlier this morning when I didn't have time to post, I saw the headline "Mets showing most interest but Sox could be back in on JBJ".... Just googled it now on my phone but nothing.... and not sure, with Boras as his agent- and where the Sox are at tax threshold that I see it happening. I think Bloom liked what he saw enough in Kiké to go with him as the starting CF'er next year in hopes for him as bridge to Duran (or Gilberto)
 

Dick Pole Upside

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 6, 2003
4,481
39.932N, -85.848W
I can't seem to find the link now but earlier this morning when I didn't have time to post, I saw the headline "Mets showing most interest but Sox could be back in on JBJ".... Just googled it now on my phone but nothing.... and not sure, with Boras as his agent- and where the Sox are at tax threshold that I see it happening. I think Bloom liked what he saw enough in Kiké to go with him as the starting CF'er next year in hopes for him as bridge to Duran (or Gilberto)
I think Hernandez agreed with the Sox based on an understanding that a) he would not bounce around as much position-wise and b) that he will be the primary second baseman, NOT CF. As of the moment, it's Verdugo in center and Hernandez at 2B. Verdugo would be the bridge to Durran.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
13,476
St. Louis, MO
I think Hernandez agreed with the Sox based on an understanding that a) he would not bounce around as much position-wise and b) that he will be the primary second baseman, NOT CF. As of the moment, it's Verdugo in center and Hernandez at 2B. Verdugo would be the bridge to Durran.
So we need a RF then.
 

Manramsclan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,770
So we need a RF then.
Renfroe can play RF. So can Benintendi. They also can both play LF. They are probably thinking that they are covered with JD Martinez playing some games in LF and Kike playing the outfield in a pinch.
 

Manramsclan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,770
Renfroe hits .228 against RH. If that’s the plan it’s a rough one.
Not sure why you picked Renfroe's stats against RHP. He is a RHH. He would play against LHP where he bats .258. Not great admittedly but he's a power threat. He is a capable defender with a cannon for an arm. JD would play more LF which he has always said he preferred. They didn't sign Renfroe to not play him. He is obviously in their plans.

It may be tougher to parse in the offseason how exactly it shakes out but Verdugo has proven he can hit Lefties and Righties and it looks like he is going to play CF. There are three other nominal OF on the roster in Renfroe, Benintendi, and Martinez. I think this lineup has a lot more moving parts than it has in the past including Kiké. It would seem that with the four of those guys LF/RF is more than covered playing matchups.

You can keep shooting one line posts that say you aren't happy with this situation if you want. I am just presenting facts and considering that is what the FO are thinking.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
17,710
Rogers Park
Here are the current stock of outfielders, DH candidates, and 2Bmen, considered very inclusively, including their career platoon splits. I'm assuming Devers and Bogaerts play everyday, and the catchers are allocated following another logic.

(To be clear, I don't actually think all of these players would likely be rostered together. I doubt either Muñoz or Chavis break camp in Boston.)

DH OF J.D. Martínez .852 v. RHP; .978 OPS v. LHP
OF Alex Verdugo .810 OPS v. RHP; .788 OPS v. LHP
OF Hunter Renfroe .717 OPS v. RHP; .912 v. LHP
OF Andrew Benintendi .821 OPS v. RHP; .691 OPS v. LHP
IF Christian Arroyo .678 v. RHP; .597 v. LHP (sss, and see below)
IF OF Kiké Hernandez .673 v. RHP; .820 v. LHP
IF OF Yairo Muñoz .716 v. RHP; .780 v. LHP (sss)
IF OF Michael Chavis .740 v. RHP; .699 v. LHP (sss)
IF DH Bobby Dalbec .903 v. RHP; 1.062 v. LHP (sss)

I tried to fit this puzzle together, but it really seems to me like we need another player.

Against LHP, we have a good OF setup: Benintendi Verdugo Renfroe, with JDM at DH and Hernandez at 2B. Benintendi has a rough split v. LHH, but it's been pretty noisy year to year, as is often the case with that split. He had a mild reverse split in 2019.

Against RHP, we would like to sit Renfroe, because .717 isn't great. But it's hard to do that without producing downstream effects in the lineup. We can play JDM in the OF (which I hate, but whatever), but if we do that we need another DH; if that DH is a starter at another position, then that creates another hole.

It is worth noting that in a tiiiiiiiny 2020 sample, Christian Arroyo had an even more pronounced reverse split than his career line: an .888 OPS against RHP (35 PA). He had a reverse split during a number of his minor league seasons, too. So we could play Arroyo at 3B (with Devers DHing) or at DH against RHP, or at 2B, with Hernandez in the OF, even though we reportedly told him he'd be the starter at 2B. (I don't see any indication that Arroyo has ever played the OF at any level.) Hernandez adds so much with his glove, either at 2B or in the OF, that I can certainly see preferring him to Renfroe vs. RHH. Meanwhile, is a terrible defender at multiple positions, and hasn't hit RHP so much better than Renfroe. I don't see any scenario in which he's on the roster short of injuries.

But all of this would make a lot more sense if we had a four corner type player with some thump vs. RHP. Such a player could serve as a Renfroe platoon partner, but also serve as Dalbec/Martinez insurance. Maaaaaaybe that's Arroyo.
 

bosockboy

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
13,476
St. Louis, MO
Here are the current stock of outfielders, DH candidates, and 2Bmen, considered very inclusively, including their career platoon splits. I'm assuming Devers and Bogaerts play everyday, and the catchers are allocated following another logic.

(To be clear, I don't actually think all of these players would likely be rostered together. I doubt either Muñoz or Chavis break camp in Boston.)

DH OF J.D. Martínez .852 v. RHP; .978 OPS v. LHP
OF Alex Verdugo .810 OPS v. RHP; .788 OPS v. LHP
OF Hunter Renfroe .717 OPS v. RHP; .912 v. LHP
OF Andrew Benintendi .821 OPS v. RHP; .691 OPS v. LHP
IF Christian Arroyo .678 v. RHP; .597 v. LHP (sss, and see below)
IF OF Kiké Hernandez .673 v. RHP; .820 v. LHP
IF OF Yairo Muñoz .716 v. RHP; .780 v. LHP (sss)
IF OF Michael Chavis .740 v. RHP; .699 v. LHP (sss)
IF DH Bobby Dalbec .903 v. RHP; 1.062 v. LHP (sss)

I tried to fit this puzzle together, but it really seems to me like we need another player.

Against LHP, we have a good OF setup: Benintendi Verdugo Renfroe, with JDM at DH and Hernandez at 2B. Benintendi has a rough split v. LHH, but it's been pretty noisy year to year, as is often the case with that split. He had a mild reverse split in 2019.

Against RHP, we would like to sit Renfroe, because .717 isn't great. But it's hard to do that without producing downstream effects in the lineup. We can play JDM in the OF (which I hate, but whatever), but if we do that we need another DH; if that DH is a starter at another position, then that creates another hole.

It is worth noting that in a tiiiiiiiny 2020 sample, Christian Arroyo had an even more pronounced reverse split than his career line: an .888 OPS against RHP (35 PA). He had a reverse split during a number of his minor league seasons, too. So we could play Arroyo at 3B (with Devers DHing) or at DH against RHP, or at 2B, with Hernandez in the OF, even though we reportedly told him he'd be the starter at 2B. (I don't see any indication that Arroyo has ever played the OF at any level.) Hernandez adds so much with his glove, either at 2B or in the OF, that I can certainly see preferring him to Renfroe vs. RHH. Meanwhile, is a terrible defender at multiple positions, and hasn't hit RHP so much better than Renfroe. I don't see any scenario in which he's on the roster short of injuries.

But all of this would make a lot more sense if we had a four corner type player with some thump vs. RHP. Such a player could serve as a Renfroe platoon partner, but also serve as Dalbec/Martinez insurance. Maaaaaaybe that's Arroyo.
Brad Miller?
 

chawson

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
2,076
Brad Miller?
Brad Miller and Danny Santana make the most sense at this point. Miller was good enough last year that he’s probably holding out for a starting job. Marwin works too, but he’ll likely face a lot of media scrutiny. There’s evidence that he benefited most from the sign stealing scandal.

I still like a trade with Pittsburgh for Frazier or Moran, but the latter would be a move to displace Dalbec, not complement him.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 2, 2006
6,685
NJ
I am still a little surprised that Bloom did not do more with regards to the pitching staff. The offense was already good, and I honestly think they should be one of the top offenses this year, and the offensive pieces added so far make sense and should help further the offensive production. Was really hoping to add Semien, but not at $18M. Kiké I think is a great add. Given more playing time, I think he will be a 20+ HR guy and provides loads of versatility.

Pitching though - I was really hoping to add one of the better SP options available in the offseason. I like the Ottavino add a lot. I am not saying that the adds of Pivetta, Perez etc. have no value, but with Sale not back until June and EROD coming off a missed season, there is a lot of uncertainty.

That being said, they would be hard pressed to be worse than 2020 so ...
 

Red(s)HawksFan

Well-Known Member
Silver Supporter
SoSH Member
Jan 23, 2009
13,586
Maine
I am still a little surprised that Bloom did not do more with regards to the pitching staff. The offense was already good, and I honestly think they should be one of the top offenses this year, and the offensive pieces added so far make sense and should help further the offensive production. Was really hoping to add Semien, but not at $18M. Kiké I think is a great add. Given more playing time, I think he will be a 20+ HR guy and provides loads of versatility.

Pitching though - I was really hoping to add one of the better SP options available in the offseason. I like the Ottavino add a lot. I am not saying that the adds of Pivetta, Perez etc. have no value, but with Sale not back until June and EROD coming off a missed season, there is a lot of uncertainty.

That being said, they would be hard pressed to be worse than 2020 so ...
You say "did not do" like Bloom's done. There are still a number of free agent starting pitchers available. It's possible (though I admit it's not necessarily a high probability) Bloom is waiting out the market on one of those guys. The closer we get to spring training, the more likely someone will accept a cap-friendly contract just to get a job.
 

IpswichSox

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 14, 2005
2,596
Suburbs of Washington, DC
You say "did not do" like Bloom's done. There are still a number of free agent starting pitchers available. It's possible (though I admit it's not necessarily a high probability) Bloom is waiting out the market on one of those guys. The closer we get to spring training, the more likely someone will accept a cap-friendly contract just to get a job.
Doesn't it feel like we're done though, absent a trade? After the AO trade, we're $10 million from the luxury tax, and it doesn't make sense to go over now when 2021 isn't a likely playoff year. That's also the squeeze on JBJ returning -- again absent a trade and subtraction of an existing salary.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,445
No idea how much more Bloom will do, but there are still a TON of free agents - and a bunch of pretty good ones - still on the market.

 

Lose Remerswaal

Missing an “R”
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Pass, please. I know it doesn’t necessarily work this way, but Philadelphia probably would have made the (expanded) playoffs last year if not for him. He blew four leads and they finished three games behind Miami.
Perhaps he is fixable? If he's willing to sign a low dollar contract with bonuses if he remains on the roster/gets innings, it could be a decent shot